According to one Chinese scholar, “Philosophers say the smooth expanse between nodes represents virtue, a long distance between faults, and the hollow interior bespeaks modesty and humility.”
Selected from a group of 5 international architecture firms, Archi-Tectonics won this competition for the 2022 Asian Games with a bold and innovative design, fusing landscape and building program into a tridimensional land-form. Like pebbles in a river, two iconic stadiums and various other building objects are forming the gravitational nodes of a fluid park landscape for the surrounding city.
In collaboration with !melk landscape design and Thornton Tomasetti structural engineers, the team created a multi-functional 47ha sports park with a table tennis and a field hockey stadium, a semi-recessed fitness center and visitor center, a sunken shopping mall and multiple parking garages, with a total construction area of 188,000 m2.
Archi-tectonics, known mostly for its innovative residential, retail, hotel and wellness designs (concepts) thus expands its portfolio with a truly extraordinary project, both in scale and in program. By applying their distinctive research-based design approach, Archi-Tectonics managed to not only re-evaluate many of the competitions programmatic assumptions, but also to transform the challenges and limitations of the site into a defining asset of the overall design concept.
A LEGACY PROJECT
The concept of the Asian Games Park and Stadiums combines innovative design research with local cultural heritage. Archi-Tectonics believes modern, intelligent design combined with cutting-edge construction technology in this case results in a poetic park landscape. While the inauguration of park and stadiums is dedicated to the sports events of the 2022 Asian Games, the project’s long-term use is to serve as a multi-functional, open and beautiful Sports Park, for leisure, exercise and entertainment; a Legacy project for the people of Hangzhou. The sponge city concept as a driver for an environmentally innovative eco system, led to a balanced approach of net zero earth strategy, resulting in a gorgeous topographical hill compilation with wetlands tucked in between.
A FLUID LANDSCAPE BETWEEN NODES
The 47ha landscape park fluidly packs around the buildings as nodes in the landscape. The artificially created hills form a topological fabric for the multitude of programs below and above the ground. The two stadiums, a sunken mall, a fitness center and visitor center, as well as various amenity buildings, will form programmatic and spatial focal points. The stadium structures at both ends of the park are connected by a sunken Valley Village mall, an undulating commercial spine with shops, restaurants, kiosks and underground parking, crossing below the existing Yiyang Road and River. This fluid and natural connection between various programs guarantees not only the seamless circulation during the Asian Games, but also the future success of the project as a lively and active urban space.
BODY WITH BODY CONCEPT
Rather than thinking of the stadium as an inert object in the landscape, Archi-Tectonics envisioned the Table Tennis stadium as a multi-dimensional body, seamlessly integrating the event spaces through a sequence of layers and thresholds into the surrounding park landscape. The Cong, an ancient jade artifact found among the graves of the Liangzhu culture near present-day Shanghai, served as the inspiration for the stadium typology. Its characteristic cylindrical form with a circular center hole and protruding square corners, an interlocking of cubic and tubular geometries, immediately transpired as a spatial prototype for our “Body within Body” concept. The intersection of the stadium’s 2 volumes, a glass diagrid volume and a brass shingled ring, allow visitors to meander through and to slip into the inner volume with the seating arena, a special shape , a hybrid between a sport arena and theater seating, ready for the future of Hangzhou.
By contrast, inspired by Hangzhou’s local tradition of the use of bamboo with its contradictory qualities of extreme physical strength and appearance of lightness, we looked at the Meinong oil-paper and bamboo umbrella as inspiration for the flexible overarching shape of the Field Hockey Stadium’s lightweight and diaphanous wing. This self-supporting thin wing forms a luminous weather and sun roof above the Field hockey building with its seating arena. Placed into a circular depression within the landscape, the hockey field is integral part of the surrounding park and thus naturally translates between the geometric turf of the playing field and the surrounding hills.
A WBE registered Architectural Design Studio with offices in New York City, the Netherlands and China. We operate at multiple scales of investigation, ranging from objects, to buildings, to urban design. Our design is informed by deep material research and extensive prototyping. We rely on research-based design to generate innovation, and to create evocative and transformative environments, an Architecture that matters. We see innovation as a way to create a unique identity for each project, with task-specific presence and character. We are a diverse team of creative individuals with a wide range of skills and backgrounds, and our close collaboration with consultants, engineers, fabricators and contractors allows for instant feedback and optimization of our ideas. Our close association with academia and cutting-edge research labs allows us to stay at the forefront of design, technology and architectural discourse.